Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Grateful Heart

I was flipping through our family calendar this morning, which is filled with quotes from Pema Chodron, to see what’s scheduled for May. The quote from her book The Places that Scare You, jumped out at me:

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world. We can do this even at the most difficult moments. Everything we see, hear, taste and smell has the power to strengthen and uplift us.”

I’ve been overflowing with gratitude all morning. It’s so delicious. It has the capacity to move us into this feeling state that can actually keep expanding and growing (it reminds me of that Star Trek episode, The Trouble with Tribbles, where the “tribbles” just kept multiplying!).

I returned late last night from facilitating a weekend Self-Renewal Retreat for women at Kripalu Yoga and Wellness Center in Mass. I didn’t bring my laptop, purposely slowed way down and made probably no more than 5 phone calls over the five days I was gone.

And while it was a work trip, I still spent a good deal of time soaking in the cool Berkshire mountain air, walking, doing yoga/dance, meditating, having heartfelt conversation with my team members, soaking in the latest perspectives/teachings on wellness, yogic lifestyle, stress management and I even got to dance with and receive a hug from the beautiful Mother Maya, who teaches Living Ahimsa—a vow which encourages us all to practice non-violence towards self and others. A particularly relevant and thoughtful message given the major political news I returned to today.

After finishing an expansive meditation this morning (it’s amazing how much more spacious our minds can become when we “unplug” for an extended period), I could feel waves of gratitude spreading and amplifying through my body. This morning I paused to celebrate and give thanks…

For the gift of sight and to be able to drink in all the green growth of springtime.

For the amazing, other-worldly natural foods cuisine the Kripalu kitchen staff lovingly prepared for the more than 700 people who were on-site this past weekend.

For the supportive tribe and community that helped care for Jonah while I was away leading the retreat (and that always step up to support me when I travel for work).

To my sweet, wonderful husband and all the ways he supports our family’s physical, emotional, spiritual and financial well-being.

For the opportunity to help women reconnect with who they are and live from the inside out … and for the self-care ripples that occur when they return to their families, communities and workplaces.

For the brilliant team of women and students I get to work with day in and day out—what blessings each of you are in my life!

For the abundance of personal and professional support that surrounds me and continually flows my way.

For the deep, nourishing friendships I have cultivated that sustain me on so many levels. I appreciate these more every day and am so grateful for the opportunity to be vulnerable and show up “warts and all.”

For the myriad of life experiences I’ve had which were catalysts for helping me grow and evolve into the person I am becoming (let the journey continue!).

For the life-changing event I had at Dachau in 1996 which helped me awaken to the life I truly desire and my calling to help us all come into balance.

For the amazing connections and synchronicities that occur daily in my life that support me in remembering who I really am and what I’m here to do.

To my son and my siblings/extended family for being such amazing teachers and for never letting me fall into status quo or get “too comfortable!”

To my sweet, wonderful body and soul which allow me to experience what it’s like to be human, be spirit and all the vastness that lies in between.

P.S. I’ll be back at Kripalu Oct. 14-16 leading another Self-Renewal Retreat if you want to experience some of this yumminess and see the blaze of fall color!

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Photos: After finishing a full and intense weekend of teaching and facilitation, I relaxed on the front lawn at Kripalu looking out at the Berkshire mountains while enjoying a piece of vegan pumpkin pie and hot rosehips/lavender tea.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

This is beautiful Renee, and thank you for its perfect timing. I might just have to attend the next one in October!